DALLAS, my favorite night-time soap opera, returned tonight on TNT in a 2-hour premiere. Airing from 1978 to 1991, the original series featured sex, power, money and all drama and cliffhangers views could stand. The Ewing family represented what many thought Dallasites to be: oil barons and cattle ranchers. The series revival has huge shoes to fill but I am optimistic about what this reincarnation has to offer.
The characters you really want to see resumed their roles: Larry Hagman as JR, Linda Gray as Sue Ellen, Patrick Duffy as Bobby are all back on the ranch, but new life has been given to the series thru their, now adult, children: cousins John Ross and Christopher. The mix of maturity and youth is interesting and intriguing.
The DALLAS reboot has Christopher returning to Southfork with aspirations to make money in the alternative fuels industry versus John Ross who wants to drill for oil on the ranch. Bobby announces a desire to sell Southfork, the news is unsettling and drama ensues. To be honest, I am not 100% sold on this story line just yet. It plays well into society today as the nation struggles with the use of alternative fuels over oil but it could be difficult to draw in viewers to watch the Ewing family battle over this.
The original DALLAS was a series that reveled in the excess: money, power, etc. The lying, manipulation and cheating are all here but the reboot appears to be a bit of a change and is more down to earth. The premiere was loaded with sharp-tongued writing for JR, John Ross and Christopher and I didn’t expect less. Bobby is battling cancer and JR is battling depression. These are real life issues but I am not sure it is the story line lovers of the original series will be drawn in by. In my opinion, writers are shifting the Ewing family from being the family to envy to the family next door. At this point, it is too soon to tell but I will keep watching to see how things unfold.
I grew up just minutes from the Ewing homestead, Southfork Ranch, and by now almost all know the ranch is not actually located in Dallas. It’s located in Parker, Texas, a Collin County town about 25 miles from Dallas. I have toured the house several times and each time scenes of the original series play in my head. I love the opening credits, the theme song and seeing how the skyline of my city and has evolved since the original series first aired.
Rumor has it, if the series gets the green light for a season two, it may not be filmed in Dallas. I take a great exception to this, not because I live in Dallas but because it is more authentic to film the show here, not to mention the jobs it brings the city. Showcasing the City of Dallas as the backdrop verses recreating it on a soundstage makes all the difference to keeping the show genuine and truly connected to the city, in my opinion. If Dallas the series has evolved as much as the city has, filming the show here is a great partnership to display that.
Stay tuned for my updates each week. As the show progresses, I am sure my opinion of it will too.*I was selected to participate in TNT’s Dallas Roundup Network. I was not compensated for writing this post, but have received a screener of the first two episodes.